News / Africa

    South Africa Government Counts its Successes as Elections Loom

    Supporters of President Jacob Zuma's ruling African National Congress await the start of a march to the headquarters of the opposition Democratic Alliance in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 5, 2014.
    Supporters of President Jacob Zuma's ruling African National Congress await the start of a march to the headquarters of the opposition Democratic Alliance in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 5, 2014.
    The 2014 national elections in South Africa, set for May 7, come as the country celebrates the 20th anniversary of democracy, with the black majority African National Congress - ANC at the helm. The ruling party hopes to continue in power by showing what it has achieved in 20 years. 

    The 2014 national elections in South Africa promise to be the most contested in a long time.

    In the run-up to the vote, protesters, largely from impoverished townships, are accusing the ruling African National Congress (ANC) led government of failing to deliver basic services such as housing, water and electricity.

    However, the ANC-led government, which has been in power since overthrowing the apartheid regime in 1994, said it has produced a long list of achievements in its 20 years at the helm.

    The party claimed it has built over 3.3 million houses benefiting 16 million South Africans. It said it has also rolled out social grants to millions living in poverty.

    Although the rate of unemployment still stands above 25 percent, in a country with a total of 51.8 million people, the ANC government said in the past 20 years employment increased by 3.5 million jobs while the economy has expanded by 83 percent.

    On the health front, the government said its fight against HIV and AIDS has been successful, while access to education has also increased for millions.

    Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu, International Relations Advisor in the South African Presidency and senior member of the ANC National Executive Committee, said the ANC government’s achievements were envied by many African countries.

    “We have a story to tell on what we have done in the past 20 years and I think that people need to judge us on what we have been able to do,” said Zulu.

    However, Andile Mgxitama, a Black Consciousness Movement Organizer and now a member of the newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters party, accuseed the ANC government of delivering substandard services and said millions of people were yet to enjoy the fruits of freedom. He argued that corruption and bad policy choices were largely responsible for the country’s failures.

    South Africa President Jacob Zuma himself had hundreds of corruption charges against him dropped and is currently engulfed in a storm over use of state funds in building his private home.

    “The ANC, which is the leading party in power, bought themselves into whiteness and joined the privileged section of the society which is white, and abandoned the black majority, increasingly undermining the public sphere because you have been able to buy yourself out of it,” said Mgxitama.

    On the contrary, Dr Siphamandla Zondi, Director at the Institute for Global Dialogue, a political research institute, argued that it was being unrealistic to think that the extent of damage caused by the colonial system in South Africa could be repaired in 20 years.

    “It was almost 400 years of distortion that could never have been, even with the best of leadership, you would never achieve, not in 20 years,” said Zondi.

    Political analysts said the ruling ANC would win the elections this year, but not without a stiff challenge from the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters party, formed by the expelled ANC Youth League President Julius Malema.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    February 08, 2014 5:05 AM
    This happen everywhere to make election compelity, nevertheles just keep on doing what you think will pleased the majority and promote peace and development to keep Africa a peaceful state. One love Mr. President.

    by: Kayode. Adekunle. Oladeji from: Ibadan, Nigeria
    February 07, 2014 10:29 AM
    Yes, all Elections should be keenly contested but i think ANC will still win come May 2014.

    by: Loophole from: Johannesburg
    February 07, 2014 10:23 AM
    No context in this peice. No reference whatsoever to the corruption engulfing the state organs or the collapse of education, healthcare and the police service. No comment from any opposition-aligned commentators. Mgxitama is on the extreme fringe for instance, taking his ideology from Black Consciousness whose party, the PAC, now gets less than one percent of the vote. The whole mass middle class, of all races, and their issues with a failing state ignored. Perhaps your writer ignored them because they are white, mixed race, and Asian as well as black, and not black only. Propaganda by omittance.


    by: Disenchanted SouthAfrican from: Expat
    February 07, 2014 9:58 AM
    Only a fool and the misinformed would believe anything the ANC say. They are rife with corruption, lack of service delivery, and have no control over one of the worst violent crime rates in the world. There are frequent attacks on foreign businesses and xenophobia is rampant, the aged are murdered in their homes, a life is not even valued at the price of a mobile phone, reverse racism is passed into law. Two wrongs do not a right make, stop blaming apartheid, its over 20 years down the road, and the problems are from current bad governance, not from the past.
    In Response

    by: Residing South African from: Cape Town
    February 07, 2014 2:38 PM
    I didn' run away, still in South Africa, however, I agree, whoever believe anything about the ANC is mad. It is the anc that put this once awesome country on the road of destruction. Our economy tumbled, joblessness increased to such an extend that it is totally unmanageable. Fraud and corruption is on the order of the day, example, zuma's Nkandla, $20.5mil stolen from the taxpayers. Cheating with matrix results leaving the impression that they did good. The president got 783 charges of fraud against his name. Do you want to read more?

    This country need a proper, honest and clean government, like the DA, Democratic Alliance. The rule in the Western Cape, with great success, and the anc hate it, because they only want to steal end destroy. Good example of the deterioration, South Africa was for many years the strongest economy and military force on the African continent. Now we haven't even got a defence force, 70% of the people in the "army" is NOT fit as soldiers. No equipment is in a working order, the blacks smashes training aircraft, the navy is non existant, 2 very expensive subs stand unused because of a lack of skills to operate it and one is damaged. The entire state department is broke, the pensionfund of the state is broke. But South Africa is "booming" What a lot of bullshit

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora